Friday, February 10, 2012

Well,Thailand has redeemed itself in my view just by the sheer beauty of the landscape.  We have just spent over a week sailing and exploring among the karst limestone outcrops.  Many of them have caves hewn in the outcrops which lead to circular enclosed spaces called hongs. We have swam through the caves, rowed the dinghy through and walked through a cave at low tide, each one offered us different experiences.  I wish my brother was here so he could explain the geology of these hongs because they are quite amazing.  The cave seems to be a hole warn through solid rock, once you are through the cave you enter a open circular area that is surrounded by sheer cliffs on all sides.  The cliffs are generally straight up, several of the hongs opened up into another one. You had to go through a narrow passageway and another circular area opened up.
It was great fun navigating the dinghy through the narrow pathways.
An attempt to show the high sheer cliffs inside the hongs.
One night at dusk we sat and filled our senses with unbelievable vista around us.  The last of the glimmering twilight was lighting the sheer rock face and you could hear the gentle waves lapping at the jagged cliff edge. I concentrated so I could cement that picture in my memory and hopefully I will be able to recall it when I wish. That night a vicious thunder storm blew through and I will not forget the brilliant flash of the lightning followed by an immediate crash of thunder, it was really close.
We finished off the week by visiting James Bond Island, made famous by the movie The Man With The Golden Gun.  The scenery was spectacular but was spoiled  by the fact that hawker stalls were set up to sell trinkets to the hoards of tourists that were crawling all over the island.  We did manage to get a few pictures with just me in them though, so I guess there weren't that many tourists.
In the movie, this island had a solar collector on it that concentrated power to a weapon that blew up 007's plane.
That is me standing there it gives you an idea of how huge this slab is that just slid off the side of the outcrop.

I am really glad we sailed through this part of the world.  There are just some sights that are so impressive when you can see them with your own eyes. The pictures don't really do justice to their beauty.  

They really are magnificent. 

You had to watch your head when you rowed through this cave.